Friday, August 26, 2011

Review: Monster Hunter International

Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International is what John Steakley's classic Vampire$ would have been if it had been written by a gun nut instead of a war weary soldier. While both novels feature mercenaries out to kill monsters for money (contract dollars in the case of the latter, government bounties in the case of the former), Vampire$ has a gritty, brooding feel while Monster Hunter International seems written by someone who'd never been shot at in anger.

This is not to say that Monster Hunter International isn't a fun novel. It's a lot of fun, especially if you're a gun lover. Every detail about guns is lovingly described. There are lots of opportunities to use them---the amount of fire power brought out by these folks are only barely enough to put down minor vampires, let alone the more fearsome types.

There's an occult sub-plot, as well as a romantic sub-plot, but both of those are trite and predictable, put in there so that the reader has a break between awesome gunfights, bombings, and of course, the occasional tactical nuke. The villain of the piece is a cartoon cut-out, and the prophecy was predictable from a mile away.

If this was the kind of competition Lev Grossman's Magicians faced, no wonder Grossman won the Campbell award. Recommended for gun nuts and a long flight where you're too tired to think. Otherwise, read Vampire$ instead. Heck, even if you're too tired to think Vampire$ is a far better novel.
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